Want to know the secret to drumming up buyers for your home before it officially hits the market? While most home sellers don their home-selling hats after their real estate listing goes live on the multiple listing service, if you’re eager to generate some buzz sooner, you certainly can—and should.

“There’s no reason to wait until the day your home hits the market to start selling,” says Regina Petruzzi Neumann, a real estate agent in Leesburg, VA. In fact, she recently sold her own townhouse before it hit the MLS, and adds that regular home sellers can easily follow in her footsteps.

Granted, the MLS—which distributes your listing far and wide on sites such as®—is an easy way to garner tons of exposure for your sale. But there’s plenty you can do on your own (and with a real estate agent’s help) earlier that’ll help you hit the ground running, boosting the odds that you’ll get an offer before your listing has gone live or very soon after. (Case in point: Petruzzi Neumann also sold her neighbor’s home on the very first day it was officially listed using the same early-bird tactics that worked for her own home.)

Want to know how to start? Here’s how to get those sales gears turning, and why it’ll pay to do so sooner rather than later.

Try a ‘coming soon’ status

One way to drum up some excitement before your home hits the market? A “coming soon” announcement. Basically, this description can be placed on listings that are up on the MLS, but not yet officially for sale. You can also plant a “coming soon!” home sale sign on your front lawn—which is what Petruzzi Neumann did for her own home.

The result: “Many buyers who were shopping other homes in the neighborhood saw the ‘coming soon’ sign, and came up and knocked on our door,” she says.

Oddly, a “coming soon” sign may have even more impact than a “for sale” sign because, let’s face it, everyone loves to think they’re getting special early access to something before everyone and their brother know what’s up.

“Marketing a listing that is not yet available often makes it more attractive to…